Depero Futurista : The Bolted Book

January 26, 2017
6:30 PM - 8 PM

Join us as we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of Fortunato Depero and the 90th anniversary of the publication of his masterwork, Depero Futurista.

The Center for Italian Modern Art in New York (CIMA), the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, Italy (MART, which houses the Depero Archives), and Designers & Books have collaborated to publish the first-ever exact facsimile of Depero Futurista. Recognized as the first modern day artist’s book, Depero Futurista is commonly known as “The Bolted Book” because of its famous binding using two aluminum industrial bolts. Depero Futurista is a visual tour de force filled with groundbreaking typographic experiments and bold explorations in nearly every art and design medium, including advertising and the form of the book itself. Conceived in 1927 by the Italian Futurist Fortunato Depero, the book was created as both a showcase for Depero’s work and a platform for his iconoclastic ideas.

To mark this occasion, Steven Heller from the School of Visual Arts and Raffaele Bedarida from Cooper Union will give an in depth presentation of the book, which will include a full accompaniment of images illustrating the context of early 20th century graphic design, book design, and Futurism; Depero’s art and design work; and the Bolted Book itself.

CIMA’s copy of the original 1927 book, given personally by Depero to Gianni Mattioli, Depero patron and the father of Laura Mattioli, CIMA founder, will be on view for the evening. Heller and Bedarida will give a guided “show and tell”, giving colorful anecdotes about the book and translating critical passages. This will be followed by a Q&A, and the opportunity for the audience to have a close up inspection of the original work.

Copies of the facsimile edition will be available for pre-order at the event. As with the original, the bolts that bind the facsimile can be removed, allowing it to be disassembled and the pages to be displayed as individual pieces of art. The book, to be printed in Italy by Graphicom (Vicenza), will be delivered in July to those who have pre-ordered copies.

Raffaele Bedarida is an art historian and curator specializing in art, politics, and cultural diplomacy between Italy and the United States in the 20th century. Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at Cooper Union, he regularly lectures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and MoMA. As a CIMA fellow in 2014 he focused his research on Depero’s time in New York.

Steven Heller is the co-chair and co-founder of the SVA MFA Design / Designer As Author + Entrepreneur program. He writes regularly for the Atlantic and Wired online as well as PRINT (including the Daily Heller on, EYE and Baseline magazines. He is the author, co-author or editor of over 170 design books and the recipient of the 1999 AIGA Medal of Lifetime Achievement, 2011 National Design Award for “Design Mind” and included in the Art Directors Hall of Fame.

Facsimile copies are $144 each (including shipping) and are available for pre-sale online and at the event. For international orders, contact us at

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